1. What good deeds are and how they are made manifest
Relevant Words of God:
My final work is not only for the sake of punishing man, but also for the sake of arranging the destination of man. Moreover, it is so that all people may acknowledge My deeds and actions. I want each and every person to see that all I have done is right, and that all I have done is an expression of My disposition. It is not man’s doing, much less nature, that brought forth mankind, but I, who nourish every living being in creation. Without My existence, mankind will only perish and suffer the scourge of calamity. No human being will ever again see the beauteous sun and moon, or the verdant world; mankind shall encounter only the frigid night and the inexorable valley of the shadow of death. I am mankind’s only salvation. I am mankind’s only hope and, even more, I am He on whom the existence of all mankind rests. Without Me, mankind will immediately come to a standstill. Without Me, mankind will suffer catastrophe and be trampled underfoot by all manner of ghosts, though no one takes heed of Me. I have done work that can be done by no other, and hope only that man can repay Me with some good deeds. Though but a few have been able to repay Me, I will still conclude My journey in the human world and begin the next step of My unfolding work, because all My rushing to and fro in man’s midst these many years has been fruitful, and I am very pleased. What I care about is not the number of people, but rather their good deeds. In any case, I hope that you prepare a sufficiency of good deeds for your own destination. Then will I be satisfied; otherwise, none of you can escape the disaster that will befall you. The disaster originates with Me and is of course orchestrated by Me. If you cannot appear as good in My eyes, then you will not escape suffering the disaster. In the midst of tribulation, your actions and deeds were not considered entirely appropriate, for your faith and love were hollow, and you only showed yourselves to be either timid or tough. Regarding this, I will only make a judgment of good or bad. My concern continues to be the way in which each of you acts and expresses himself, on the basis of which I shall determine your end. However, I must make this clear: Toward those who showed Me not the slightest loyalty during times of tribulation, I shall be merciful no more, for My mercy only extends so far. I have no liking, furthermore, for anyone who has once betrayed Me, much less do I like to associate with those who sell out the interests of their friends. This is My disposition, regardless of who the person may be. I must tell you this: Anyone who breaks My heart shall not receive clemency from Me a second time, and anyone who has been faithful to Me shall forever remain in My heart.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Prepare Sufficient Good Deeds for Your Destination
What is the standard by which a person’s deeds are judged to be good or evil? It depends on whether or not you, in your thoughts, expressions, and actions, possess the testimony of putting the truth into practice and of living out truth reality. If you do not have this reality or do not live this out, then you are without a doubt an evildoer. How does God see evildoers? Your thoughts and external acts do not bear testimony for God, nor do they put Satan to shame or defeat Satan; instead, they shame God, and are riddled with marks that cause God to be ashamed. You are not testifying for God, not expending yourself for God, nor are you fulfilling your responsibility and obligations toward God; instead, you are acting for your own sake. What is the implication of “for your own sake”? For Satan. Therefore, in the end, God will say, “Depart from Me, you that work iniquity.” In God’s eyes, you have not done good deeds, but rather your behavior has turned evil. Instead of meeting with God’s approval, you will be condemned. What does one with such a belief in God seek to gain? Would such belief not come to naught in the end? For all who fulfill their duty, however profound or shallow their understanding of the truth, the simplest way of practice by which to enter the truth reality is to think of the interests of God’s house in everything, and to let go of selfish desires, individual intentions, motives, reputation, and status. Put the interests of God’s house first—this is the least one should do.
—“Give Your True Heart to God, and You Can Obtain the Truth” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days
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?
You should each do your own duty to the best of your ability, with open and honest hearts, and be willing to pay whatever price is necessary. As you have said, when the day comes, God will not be remiss toward anyone who has suffered or paid a price for Him. This kind of conviction is worth holding on to, and it is right that you should never forget it. Only in this way can I put My mind at ease about you. Otherwise, you will forever be people about whom I cannot put My mind at ease, and you will forever be the objects of My distaste. If all of you can follow your conscience and give your all for Me, sparing no effort for My work, and devoting the energy of a lifetime to My gospel work, then will My heart not often leap for joy on your account? This way, I will be able to put My mind entirely at ease regarding you, won’t I?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. On Destination
Most people who believe in God are glad to expend and devote themselves for Him. However, only those who are capable of genuine devotion and sacrifice possess the true reality. Most people happily pursue the truth, but relatively few are able to put it into practice or pay a price to gain it. When the crucial moment comes, and you are asked to sacrifice and forsake, you cannot bear to; this is unacceptable, and shows that you are not sincere toward God. If the more crucial a moment it is, the more able people are to submit and let go of their self-interests, vanity, and pride, and perform their duties properly, only then will they be remembered by God. Those are all good deeds! Regardless of what people do, which is more important—their vanity and pride, or God’s glory? (God’s glory.) Which are more important—your responsibilities, or your own interests? Fulfilling your responsibilities is what is most important, and you are duty-bound to them. This is not some slogan; if that is deep down what you think, and you try to practice that way, then will you not have entered a little of reality? At the very least, it means you possess that aspect of reality. When faced with certain things, your own ephemeral subjective desires and your vanity and pride will stop standing in your way, and you will give first priority to your own duty, to the will of God, to bearing testimony for Him, and to your own responsibilities. This is such a great way of bearing testimony, and it brings shame upon Satan! What does Satan think, after seeing all this? If you actually do this, using real actions to truly bear testimony to God and turn your back on Satan, and you are doing more than just chanting slogans, then there is no better way to shame Satan and testify to God. How wonderful it is to use various methods to bear witness for God and to make Satan see your determination to forsake and reject Satan!
—“Gaining God and the Truth Is the Happiest of Things” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days
To be a church leader, one must not only learn to use the truth to resolve problems, but also to discover and cultivate people of talent, whom one absolutely must not suppress or envy. Such performance of duty is up to standard, and leaders and workers who do so are up to standard. If you grow able to act in all things according to the principles, you will then be living up to your loyalty. There are some who are always afraid that others are better than they and higher than they, that others will be esteemed while they themselves are neglected. This leads them to attack and exclude others. Is this not a case of being jealous of people more capable than themselves? Is such behavior not selfish and contemptible? What kind of disposition is this? It is malicious! Thinking only about one’s own interests, satisfying only one’s own desires, showing no consideration for the duties of others or the interests of God’s house—people like this have a bad disposition, and God has no love for them. If you are truly capable of being considerate of God’s will, then you will be able to treat other people fairly. If you advocate for a good person and nurture them to competence, whereupon there will be another person of talent in God’s house, will your work not then be easier to do? Will you not then have lived up to your loyalty in this duty? This is a good deed before God; it is the minimum of conscience and sense of which one who is a leader should be possessed. Those who are capable of putting the truth into practice can accept God’s scrutiny when doing things. When you accept God’s scrutiny, your heart is set straight. If you only ever do things for others to see, and do not accept God’s scrutiny, then is God still in your heart? People like this have no reverence for God. Do not always do things for your own sake and do not constantly consider your own interests; give no thought to your own status, prestige, or reputation. Also do not consider the interests of man. You must first give thought to the interests of God’s house, and make them your first priority. You should be considerate of God’s will and begin by contemplating whether or not you have been impure in the fulfillment of your duty, whether you have done your utmost to be loyal, done your best to fulfill your responsibilities, and given your all, as well as whether or not you have wholeheartedly given thought to your duty and the work of God’s house. You must give consideration to these things. Think about them frequently, and it will be easier for you to perform your duty well. If you are of poor caliber, your experience is shallow, or you are not proficient in your professional work, then there may be some mistakes or deficiencies in your work, and the results may not be very good—but you will have put forth your best effort. When you are not thinking of your own selfish desires or considering your own interests in the things you do, and are instead giving constant consideration to the work of God’s house, bearing its interests in mind, and performing your duty well, then you will be accumulating good deeds before God. People who perform these good deeds are the ones who possess truth reality; as such, they have borne testimony.
—“Give Your True Heart to God, and You Can Obtain the Truth” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days
Whether you are fulfilling your duty or learning professional knowledge, you must adhere to principles in everything you do. You must treat everything you do in accordance with the truth, and practice in accordance with the truth. You must use the truth to resolve problems, to resolve the corrupt dispositions that have been revealed in you, and to resolve your erroneous ways and thoughts. You must continuously surmount these. For one thing, you must examine yourself. Once you have done so, if you discover a corrupt disposition, you must resolve it, subdue it, and forsake it. Once you have resolved these problems, when you no longer do things based on your corrupt dispositions, and when you can let go of your motives and interests and practice according to the truth principle, only then will you be doing what one who truly follows God is supposed to do. Does God find this particular behavior, way of acting, and conduct acceptable? He finds this acceptable; this is a good deed! Why is your acting that way considered to be a good deed? You do it to benefit others, for the sake of the work of God’s house, or for the interests of God’s house, and at the same time you are practicing the truth, and so God approves of it, and it is a good deed. If this is what you have lived out, it means you are bearing testimony for God.
—“Only by Seeking the Truth in Everything Can One Enter Truth Reality” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days
God scrutinizes and can see what people hold in their hearts as they perform their duty, and how much energy they exert. It is crucial that people put all their heart and strength into what they do. Cooperation, too, is a crucial component. Only if people strive to have no regrets about the duties they have completed and the things they have done, and not to be in debt to God, will they be acting with all their heart and strength. If, today, you do not give all your heart and strength, then, when something goes wrong later, and there are consequences, will it not be too late for regrets? You will be forever indebted; it will be a stain on you! A stain in the performance of one’s duty is a transgression. You must therefore strive to do properly the share of things you must and ought to do, with all your heart and strength. Those things must not be done carelessly or perfunctorily; you must not have any regrets. In this way, the duties you perform at this time shall be remembered by God. Those things remembered by God are good deeds. What, then, are the things that are not remembered? They are transgressions. People might not accept that they are evil deeds if they were described thus presently, but, if a day comes when there are serious consequences to these things, and they become a negative influence, then you will sense that these things are not mere behavioral transgressions, but evil deeds. When you realize this, you will be regretful, and think to yourself: I should have chosen an ounce of prevention! With a little more thought and effort, I wouldn’t have this problem. Nothing will wipe this eternal stain from your heart, and it would cause trouble if it should leave you in permanent debt. So, today, every time you perform your duty, or accept a commission, you must strive to do it with all your strength and all your heart. You must do it such that you are free of guilt and regret, so that it is remembered by God, and is a good deed. Do not act carelessly and perfunctorily, with one eye open and the other closed; you will regret it, and be unable to make amends. It will constitute transgression, and ultimately, in your heart, there will always be guilt, indebtedness, and accusation. Which of these two paths is best? Which path is the right way? Performing your duty with all your heart and strength, and preparing and accumulating good deeds, without any regrets. Do not let your transgressions accumulate, regret them, and fall into debt. What happens when a person has committed too many transgressions? They are accruing God’s anger at them in His presence! If you transgress ever more, and God’s wrath toward you grows ever greater, then, ultimately, you shall be punished.