57. The Principles of Obeying Till Death During Trials
1. You must know God’s work, and have faith that all adversity and refinement comes from God’s orchestrations in order to expose people, as a testing program for man;
2. Take your stand as a created being. Everything man has comes from God, submit to God’s orchestrations in living and dying, and do not lay conditions or make excuses;
3. Have the resolution of Peter to love God, take satisfying God as your principle, and be able to sacrifice everything and live to carry out God’s will. It is better to die than to betray God;
4. No matter how God arranges things during trials, as long as you have breath left you must be devoted to God’s commissions, and be utterly faithful to God even at the cost of your own life.
Relevant Words of God:
Man will be fully made complete in the Age of Kingdom. After the work of conquest, man will be subjected to refinement and tribulation. Those who can overcome and stand testimony during this tribulation are the ones who will ultimately be made complete; they are the overcomers. During this tribulation, man is required to accept this refinement, and this refinement is the last instance of God’s work. It is the last time that man will be refined prior to the conclusion of all the work of God’s management, and all those who follow God must accept this final test, must accept this last refinement. … Those who truly follow God are able to withstand the test of their work, whereas those who do not truly follow God are incapable of withstanding any of God’s trials. Sooner or later they will be expelled, while the overcomers will remain in the kingdom. Whether or not man truly seeks God is determined by the test of his work, that is, by God’s trials, and has nothing to do with the decision by man himself. God does not reject any person at whim; all that He does is so that man may be utterly convinced. He does not do anything that is invisible to man, or any work that cannot convince man. Whether man’s belief is true or not is proved by the facts, and cannot be decided by man. That “wheat cannot be made into tares, and tares cannot be made into wheat” is without doubt. All those who truly love God will ultimately remain in the kingdom, and God will not mistreat anyone who truly loves Him.
from “God’s Work and Man’s Practice” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
It can be said that whenever you encounter things that do not fit with your notions and require that you put yourself aside, these are your trials. Prior to God’s will being revealed, there is a rigorous test for every man, an immense trial for everyone—can you see this matter clearly? When God wants to try men, He always lets them make their choices before the truth of the facts has been revealed. This is to say that when God is trying you, He will never tell you the truth, and that is how men may be exposed. This is one way that God carries out His work, to see whether you understand the God of today, and to see whether you possess any reality.
from “Only Putting the Truth Into Practice Is Having Reality” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
For all people, refinement is excruciating, and very difficult to accept—yet it is during refinement that God makes plain His righteous disposition to man, and makes public His requirements for man, and provides more enlightenment, and more actual pruning and dealing; through the comparison between the facts and the truth, He gives man a greater knowledge of himself and the truth, and gives man a greater understanding of God’s will, thus allowing man to have a truer and purer love of God. Such are God’s aims in carrying out refinement. All the work that God does in man has its own aims and significance; God does not do meaningless work, nor does He do work that is without benefit to man. Refinement does not mean removing people from before God, nor does it mean destroying them in hell. It means changing man’s disposition during refinement, changing his motivations, his old views, changing his love for God, and changing his whole life. Refinement is a real test of man, and a form of real training, and only during refinement can his love serve its inherent function.
from “Only by Experiencing Refinement Can Man Truly Love God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
While undergoing trials, it’s normal for people to be weak, or have negativity within them, or to lack clarity on God’s will or their path for practice. But in any case, you must have faith in God’s work, and not deny God, like Job. Although Job was weak and cursed the day of his own birth, he did not deny that all things in human life were bestowed by Jehovah, and that Jehovah is also the One to take it all away. No matter how he was tested, he maintained this belief.
from “Those Who Are to Be Made Perfect Must Undergo Refinement” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
You believe in God and follow God, and so in your heart you must love God. You must cast aside your corrupt disposition, must seek to fulfill God’s desire, and must perform the duty of a creature of God. Since you believe in and follow God, you should offer everything to Him, and should not make personal choices or demands, and you should achieve the fulfillment of God’s desire. Since you were created, you should obey the Lord that created you, for you are inherently without dominion over yourself, and have no ability to control your destiny. Since you are a person that believes in God, you should seek holiness and change.
from “Success or Failure Depends on the Path That Man Walks” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
So many times did I put him under trial, which of course left him half dead, but even in the midst of these hundreds of trials, he never once lost faith in Me or became disillusioned with Me. Even when I said I had already thrown him aside, he did not grow faint of heart or fall into despair, but continued as before to carry out his principles so as to realize his love for Me. I told him that, even though he loved Me, I did not commend him but would cast him into Satan’s hands in the end. In the midst of these trials, which did not reach unto his flesh but were trials by means of words, he still prayed to Me: Oh, God! Among the heavens and earth and the myriad things, is there any man, any creature, or any thing that is not in the hands of You, the Almighty? When You wish to show me mercy, my heart rejoices greatly on account of Your mercy; when You wish to execute judgment on me, unworthy though I may be, I feel all the more the profound mystery of Your deeds, because You are filled with authority and wisdom. Though my flesh may suffer, I am comforted in my spirit. How could I not extol Your wisdom and Your deeds? Even if I die after coming to know You, I would be ever ready and willing.
from “The Sixth Utterance” of God’s Utterances to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh
When you face sufferings you must be able to not consider the flesh and not complain against God. When God hides Himself from you, you must be able to have the faith to follow Him, to maintain your previous love without allowing it to falter or disappear. No matter what God does, you must submit to His design, and be more willing to curse your own flesh than to complain against Him. When you are faced with trials you must satisfy God in spite of any reluctance to part with something you love, or bitter weeping. Only this can be called true love and faith. No matter what your actual stature is, you must first possess the will to suffer hardship as well as true faith, and you must have the will to forsake the flesh. You should be willing to personally endure hardships and suffer losses to your personal interests in order to satisfy God’s will.
from “Those Who Are to Be Made Perfect Must Undergo Refinement” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
In this stage of work great faith and great love are required of us. We may stumble from the slightest carelessness because this stage of work is different from all the previous ones. What God is perfecting is mankind’s faith—one cannot see or touch it. What God does is convert words to faith, to love, and to life. People must reach a point where they have endured hundreds of refinements and possess faith greater than Job’s. They need to endure incredible suffering and all kinds of torture without departing from God at any time. When they are obedient until the death, and have great faith in God, then this stage of God’s work is complete.
from “The Path … (8)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Peter saw that he had done nothing for Jesus and remembered his previous oath to give his life for God. And so, he no longer complained, and his prayers afterward grew much better. He prayed, saying: “Lord Jesus Christ! I once left You, and You too once left me. We have spent time apart, and time together in company. Yet You love me more than all else. I have repeatedly rebelled against You and repeatedly grieved You. How can I forget such things? The work You have done in me and what You have entrusted me with I always bear in mind, I never forget. With the work You have done in me I have tried my best. You know what I can do, and You further know what role I can play. Your wish is my command and I will dedicate everything I have to You. Only You know what I can do for You. Although Satan fooled me so much and I rebelled against You, I believe You do not remember me for those transgressions, that You do not treat me based on them. I wish to dedicate my entire life to You. I ask for nothing, and neither do I have other hopes or plans; I only wish to act according to Your intention and to do Your will. I will drink from Your bitter cup, and I am Yours to command.”
from “How Peter Came to Know Jesus” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
No matter what God asks of you, you need only give it your all. Hopefully you are able to show your loyalty to God before Him in the end, and as long as you can see God’s gratified smile upon His throne, even if it is the time of your death, you should be able to laugh and smile as your eyes are closed. You must do your final duty for God during your time on earth. In the past, Peter was crucified upside down for God; however, you should satisfy God in the end, and exhaust all of your energy for God. What can a creature do for God? So you should give yourself to the mercy of God sooner rather than later. As long as God is happy and pleased, then let Him do whatever He wants. What right do men have to complain?
from “Interpretation of the Forty-first Utterance” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Jesus was able to complete God’s commission—the work of all mankind’s redemption—because He gave every care to God’s will, without His personal plans and considerations. So, too, was He the intimate of God—God Himself, something which you all understand very well. (Actually, He was the God Himself who was testified to by God; I mention this here to use the fact of Jesus to illustrate the issue.) He was able to place God’s management plan at the very center, and always prayed to the heavenly Father and sought the will of the heavenly Father. He prayed, and said: “God the Father! Accomplish that which is of Your will, and act not according to My intentions; would that You act according to Your plan. Man may be weak, but why should You care for him? How could man be the subject of Your concern, man who is like an ant in Your hand? In My heart, I wish only to accomplish Your will, and I would that You can do what You would do in Me according to Your own intentions.” On the road to Jerusalem, Jesus felt in agony, as if a knife were being twisted in His heart, yet He had not the slightest intention of going back on His word; always there was a powerful force compelling Him onward to where He would be crucified. Ultimately, He was nailed to the cross and became the likeness of sinful flesh, completing that work of the redemption of mankind, and rising above the shackles of death and Hades. Before Him, mortality, hell, and Hades lost their power, and were vanquished by Him. He lived for thirty-three years, throughout which He always did His utmost to fulfill God’s will according to God’s work at the time, never considering His own personal gain or loss, and always thinking of the will of God the Father. Thus, after He was baptized, God said: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Because of His service before God that was in harmony with God’s will, God placed the heavy burden of redeeming all mankind upon His shoulders and made Him go forth to accomplish it, and He was qualified and entitled to complete this important task. Throughout His life, He endured immeasurable suffering for God, and He was tempted by Satan countless times, but He was never disheartened.
from “How to Serve in Harmony With God’s Will” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
You may say you have been conquered, but can you obey unto death? You must be able to follow to the very end regardless of whether there are any prospects, and you must not lose faith in God regardless of the environment. Ultimately, you must achieve two aspects of testimony: the testimony of Job—obedience unto death—and the testimony of Peter—the supreme love of God. In one respect, you must be like Job: He had no material possessions, and was beset by the pain of the flesh, yet he did not forsake the name of Jehovah. This was Job’s testimony. Peter was able to love God unto death. When he died—when he was put on the cross—he still loved God; he did not think of his own prospects or pursue glorious hopes or extravagant thoughts, and he sought only to love God and to obey all of God’s arrangements. Such is the standard you must achieve before you can be considered to have borne testimony, before you become someone who has been made perfect after having been conquered. Today, if people truly knew their own substance and status, would they still seek prospects and hopes? What you should know is this: Regardless of whether God makes me perfect, I must follow God; everything He does now is good, and for our sake, and so that our disposition can change and we can rid ourselves of Satan’s influence, to allow us to live in the land of filth and yet rid ourselves of impurity, shake off the filth and the influence of Satan, to enable us to leave behind the influence of Satan. Of course, this is what is required of you, but for God it is merely conquest, so that people have the resolve to obey, and can submit to all of God’s orchestrations, which is all that’s needed.
from “The Inside Truth of the Conquering Work (2)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh