The True Process of Corrupt Humanity’s Salvation
The True Process of Corrupt Humanity’s Salvation
We believers are all pursuing God’s salvation. What is the process of saving corrupt humanity really like? Every believer pursuing salvation must become familiar with it. Since humanity was corrupted by Satan, following the gradual increase of Satan’s poisons in the hearts of humankind, humanity’s essential nature gradually transformed into Satan’s essential nature. As human nature became more and more evil, people’s hearts grew darker and darker inside. They could not see the slightest ray of light. At this time, people’s hearts began to feel empty. People thought that if only they had enough knowledge they could find the path back to the light, could find their sanctuary. The result was that those with the most knowledge grew furthest from God. The more knowledgeable people were the more seriously they betrayed and resisted God, and after they had completely severed their ties with God, the path they were seeking to the light was completely cut off. Driven to desperation, people became superstitiously enamored of science. Once they had embarked on the path of science, their knowledge grew, and they became more and more corrupt, more and more evil, until they even revered evil, treating things which are abhorred by God as right and proper. They even took right and proper things required of humanity by God as old-fashioned and wrong, rejecting them, and as a result humanity embarked on a path of no return. When humanity embarked on this path of no return, God’s work of the last days began. God began to save this deeply corrupted humanity. Humanity’s corruption by Satan was so deep, there was no place at all for God in their hearts, and they didn’t know whether or not God really existed. At this time, God began the work of salvation, expressing all the truths corrupt humanity needs to be saved. When humanity began to believe in God and accept God’s words, people’s spirits began to awaken. People began to acknowledge God’s existence, began to read God’s words, and began to feel the intimacy of God’s words, how loveable they are. They began to feel that God’s words could nourish a person’s spirit, resolve a person’s spiritual needs, and felt God’s words in their hearts gradually become a path toward light, becoming the truth, becoming the life a person should have. When people came to know that God’s words are life, are truth, are the path, humanity completely awakened, and began a true return toward God. When humanity completely accepts God, and returns to God, then they will find that they have been corrupted too deeply by Satan. Wanting to practice the truth, they will find it hard, wanting to submit to God, they will find that difficult also, and it will be even more difficult to satisfy God. Then, people will recognize that essence of the nature of corrupt humanity spoken of by God is an essence that betrays God. The nature of corrupt humanity is Satan’s nature, this is an absolute fact, God’s words have been completely accepted by God’s chosen people. When humanity can completely accept that God’s words are the truth, then people will feel the reality of God the Creator of all things. Corrupt humanity is in reality among the created, and the creations return to the Creator, submitting to the Creator, worshiping the Creator, this is right and proper. When our experience reaches this point, we will see that this world is too dark, that this humanity does not possess the least glimmer of light. Why do we say this world is dark, that this corrupt humanity does not possess the least glimmer of light? It is because we accept God’s work of the last days, according to the truth we understand, we have seen the light before our eyes. Righteousness has appeared, the Almighty God we believe in, He is the truth, is the way, is the life. He is humanity’s path of light, and so we can say that this world is too dark, that corrupt humanity does not possess the least glimmer of light. From our own personal experience, we can see the true process of corrupt humanity’s salvation. We must all be clear about this true process.
Humanity’s corruption by Satan runs deep. The depths of the heart have no place for God, and do not know what the truth is. The heart has been taken by Satan’s philosophy, Satan’s knowledge, and cannot feel the existence of the Creator, nor can it feel the existence of the truth, and cannot find where the path of light lies. People live in darkness, groping and searching, unable to grasp the proper path of life. How miserable they are. In this situation, what problems do people need to resolve before they can reach salvation? First, resolve the problem of the awakening of the spirit, this is crucial. What is the “awakening of the spirit”? Why does the spirit need awakening? It is because if a person’s spirit is not awakened, they will not be able to admit God’s existence, and will not return to God, nor will they accept the truth. When a person recognizes the existence of God, and can turn to God, can accept the truth, these are the results of the spirit’s awakening. Today, we can accept God, can recognize God’s words are the truth, are these not the results of the spirit’s awakening? Were these things taught to us in the world’s classrooms? They were not. The knowledge and science of the world have befuddled humanity, clouding the hearts of corrupt humanity, diverting their capacity for clear thinking, leaving them totally disorientated, not knowing that a person’s life needs belief in God, not knowing that a person’s life should be in the pursuit of truth. Now, you go to testify about God to corrupt humanity, to have them believe in God, and let them accept all the truth that God has expressed, will they accept it? They will not accept it. Why is this? Their spirits have not awakened, they are as if asleep. When you speak to them, they sleep-talk back to you. It’s hard to communicate with them. Isn’t that how it is? So, now everyone feels preaching God’s gospels and testifying about God is hard. Can you convince someone who is asleep by talking to them? When you testify to them, will they accept it? The things they say are incomprehensible to you, they are talking in their sleep, talking from their dreams, their spirits have not awakened. To achieve salvation requires the awakening of the spirit. For people to know God and contact God, they must engage their heart and spirit. The spirit resides within people’s hearts, it’s the depths of the spirit that can feel the existence of God, the depths of the spirit that can hear God’s voice. This being so, people’s acceptance of God, understanding of God’s words, and acceptance of the truth all need the spirit to be awakened. This is the first step of salvation, and the most pressing one. When people first come to the house of God, they do not understand the words of God on their first reading of them, and say “What words are these, how come I’ve never read these words before? How is it that I’ve never come into contact with this kind of language before? What do these words say?” They don’t understand, and why is that? Their spirit has not awakened. Now do you all understand the words of God? The more we commune with God’s words, the more we feel our hearts grow light and clear. The more we commune with God’s words, the more we feel that God’s words are the truth, the more we feel that God’s words are good. If we continue to always commune with God’s words, in the end we will be able to achieve a complete understanding of the truth, our hearts will be full of light and clarity, without the slightest hint of darkness. Therefore, people’s spirits must be awakened before they can accept God. People’s spirits must be awakened before they can pray to God, put into practice God’s words, and submit to God, entering the truth. This is the first step of salvation, that the spirit must be awakened. When a person’s spirit is awakened, they feel in the depths of their heart an acknowledgment of the existence of God, an acknowledgment that God rules over all things, that people were created by God, that people’s submission to God is a natural law. Once these truths have taken root in a person’s heart, the foundations of a belief in God have been planted, and no one will be able to sway them. Now if someone says to you “There is no such thing as God in this world,” will those words have any effect on you? If a religious person says to you “The things you have accepted are not the truth,” will these words have any effect? Their words will be futile, because the truth has been planted deep in your hearts, putting down roots within you, blossoming, bearing fruit, so nothing anyone says will affect you. These things begin with the awakening of the spirit and the acceptance of God. When we acknowledge that the words of God are truth, we formally begin a quest to understand and know God’s words, this is the beginning of the quest for truth. When a person understands some truths, they will begin to recognize their corrupt state and the truth of their corruption. They will say “How did I become so corrupt? Why is it so hard for me to put the truth into practice? Why do I not have the heart that loves God, but resist God and harm God in everything I do?” That’s the moment when people begin to recognize their own corruption, and see that Satan’s corruption of them truly runs too deep, that they do not have even the semblance of a human being. What foundation is this reaction built on? Its foundation lies in the awakening of the spirit. After the spirit is awakened, when a person understands the truth, and begins to truly know their corrupt state, the truth of their corruption, and the essence of their corruption, then they have entered the second stage on the path to salvation. The first stage is that of the awakening of the spirit, the second stage begins the understanding of the truth, and the knowledge of themselves. When a person truly knows their own corrupt nature, they see that they are not living like a human being, that they are living out the image of Satan in everything they do, then they will understand God’s words “Corrupt humanity is the spawn of Satan, Satan’s offspring.” They will recognize that we corrupt humans have all become spawn of the devil Satan, Satan’s offspring, and this is completely true. When a person’s knowledge reaches this level, with a deep enough understanding of their own corruption, because they see what their own essential nature is, they then feel a kind of true repentance in their hearts. They see that they are really living out the image of Satan, without even the semblance of humanity: “It turns out I’ve been corrupted so deeply by Satan, living this way all these years, just thinking about it, it’s so sad!” Then a true gratitude toward God forms in a person’s heart, praising Him, and feeling that they are indeed saved, that God indeed exalts them, and God’s love comes to them. Once a person’s life experience has reached this point, they begin to abhor Satan, abhor the great red dragon, and loathe themselves, never again to be as arrogant and conceited as they were before, opinionated, bowing to nobody. The feeling that they used to have of being best of all people under heaven, stronger than anyone, now vanishes, gone, and they begin to live humbly and humanely. To put it crudely, they “tuck their tail between their legs and get on with doing what’s right.” They do not run wild again, and can bring self-reflection to many things, can seek the truth through prayer, can put the truth into practice, and are willing to live the true lives of human beings. This is the beginning of true repentance. What foundation is the beginning of true repentance built on? It builds on an understanding of the truth, and on self-knowledge. When a person truly knows their own corrupt nature, they begin to feel self-loathing, despising themselves and detesting the flesh. Then they begin to turn their backs on Satan, turn their backs on the great red dragon, seeking the truth, doing each thing through prayer, looking up to God, relying on God, living according to the truth, and beginning to enter a genuinely human life. This is the entry to the third stage of salvation, the beginning of true repentance. When people experience God’s work and understand many truths, they discover an important issue: Someone can understand many truths, and yet their disposition does not show any major change, how can this be? Many people are perplexed by their situation, saying “I understand many truths, and can explain them. Whether my understandings are superficial or profound, I already understand them. Since I understand them, why can’t I put them into practice? Why is it that I don’t see any change in my disposition?” This is a problem that many people have now. Through our fellowship, we have seen that a change in life disposition is not something that can be effected by the understanding of a few truths. It can only be thoroughly resolved by an acceptance of God’s trials and refinement. Looking back on the experiences of Peter, we know that Peter in the last seven years experienced many hundreds of trials, these hundreds of trials occurred in the space of seven years, so one could say that there was about a trial a week. Nearly every week there was another trial, over the seven years he experienced hundreds of them, he went through painful refinement hundreds of times over those seven years, and his life disposition underwent great change, eventually becoming perfected by God. Now in Peter’s experience we find an answer: God uses trials and refinement to resolve change in man’s disposition. An understanding of the truth is a prerequisite, then the refinement of trials can truly resolve the problem of a person’s essential nature. After we have found an answer to this question, we begin to persist in our pursuit of the truth. When our understanding of the truth reaches an understanding of the essence of the truth, that is to say, when we arrive at a true understanding of the truth, all kinds of trials will immediately follow. Many people say: “Why was Peter perfected only in the last seven years? How many years did Peter believe in God before he began to experience the hundreds of trials?” Now we understand that if Peter began to believe in God at twenty years of age, and the end of his life in an inverted crucifixion was at maybe sixty years of age, if he was sixty, then he would have begun to undergo his trials and refinement after the age of fifty. From twenty years old to fifty-odd, it was more than thirty years into his belief in God that he began to truly receive God’s perfection. From the beginning of his belief in God to the beginning of his experience of his trials and refinement, over these thirty years, he underwent no great changes. He only understood a few truths, preaching and working for the Lord, providing for churches, having great enthusiasm, great faith, that was all. He gave up everything for the Lord, carried the cross, bore hardships, worked for the Lord despite every kind of suffering, contempt, and slander, and when he grew old, then God truly began to perfect him. Once we understand the experiences of Peter, we know the stages of God’s work of salvation. That is to say, we realize that God’s salvation of a person has its stages, that it must be founded on a person’s understanding of many truths, that their belief in God must be well-founded, and only then will God begin the true perfection of corrupt humanity. Now we are in the time of accepting the truth, and equipping ourselves with the truth. Although a belief in God has put down roots, gradually allowing us to enter the right path of belief in God, many truths are still not clear. Through being repeatedly watered and provided, we come to know a little about all aspects of truth, that is, the truths corrupt humanity must be equipped with in order to be saved. If we really understand these truths, then when we face all kinds of trials and refinements, we will be able to stand them. In the midst of our trials we will stand witness, and in doing so we will in our trials satisfy God, and achieve a genuine praise of God, a genuine act of worship. Now we are equipping ourselves with the truth, and begin to understand and enter all the truths necessary for salvation. Then it can be said that we will accept the next stage of God’s work, that is, all kinds of trials and refinements will be upon us. As the person in the world might put it, all manner of disasters will descend on us. Amid these calamities how should we submit to God, how should we stand witness to satisfy God? This is a great opportunity for the perfection of God’s people. These are the stages of God’s salvation of corrupt humanity. It begins with the awakening of the spirit and turning to God, and from there passes to being equipped with the truth and genuine knowledge of one’s own corrupt nature, causing repentance, and being born. Then comes entry into becoming equipped with all truths, accepting all kinds of trials and refinements in order to be perfected, this is the true course of God’s salvation of corrupt humanity. This is precisely the process by which God saves humanity. We all came through this experience, and are experiencing this now.
How to Seek the Truth and Stand Witness Amid Trials
Now we worry that we will be unable to stand up to the coming trials. This worry is necessary, and normal, so how can we resolve it? You can see, with our current stature, false Christs, antichrists, religious frauds, none of them have a hope of deceiving us. Why is that? Isn’t it because we understand some of God’s words? It is a result reached by an understanding of the truth. So thinking about how we can stand firm through our coming trials, it all comes back to seeking the truth. The pursuit of the truth must achieve two results. Remember them, these two results are most critical. First, is a true faith in God. Job could stand witness during his trials because of his true faith in God. Second, is a true knowledge of God. The trials we will face will be greater than the trials faced by Job, so we will not only need a true faith in God, but also a true knowledge of God. Peter could bear an inverted crucifixion for God because of his true knowledge of God. If we have a true faith in God, and at the same time have a true knowledge of God, will you still be afraid of failing to stand up to your trials? There’s no need to worry, is there? And so, our current pursuit of the truth mainly resolves these two problems. First, resolving the problem of needing a true belief in God, and second, resolving the problem of needing a true knowledge of God. If you achieve these two results, any trials you might face in the future won’t topple you, won’t pull you down, you will withstand them, that is certain. What are the signs by which you will know that you do not have a true faith in God? First, when facing a major trial, you doubt God, saying “Does God really save us through trials? Does God really use trials to test our faith? If I run from this trial, will I be eliminated?” You see, those without a true faith in God will say these things. Look at how when Job was facing trials, he kept a God-fearing heart, and didn’t speak rashly of what he didn’t fully understand. He did not complain about God, he cursed himself. But what did Job’s wife say? She said to Job: “Do you still retain your integrity?” You see, she had already been struck down. In the face of trials she began to deny God. Hadn’t she gone with Job to pray to God before the trials? How was it that the trials could strike her down? It was because she did not have a true faith in God, so she could not retain her integrity, and began to leave God, not acknowledging God. But Job persisted in praising God, thanking God, and believing in God, he didn’t say a word denying God, did not say a word of complaint against God, just cursed himself. From these events one can see that if someone does not have a true faith in God, it is very easy for them to fall in a trial, and say the kinds of things Job’s wife said. Therefore, whether or not one can stand testimony amid trials hinges on whether one can see that these are parts of God’s orchestrations. Trials are sent by God, through trials what does God want to perfect? If you can’t see this clearly, and you do not believe the truth, do not believe God’s words, then you will run from disasters, and avoid trials. In this way you will lose your testimony, following evil and Satan. Therefore, people’s ability to withstand trials depends on a true faith in God and a true knowledge of God. … If you want to be able to stand testimony amid trials, first you must grasp God’s will, and know how you came to be facing these things. In addition, if you believe God’s words, and believe everything you face was allowed by God, no matter the context, say to yourself, “I will submit to God, I will satisfy God, I will stand testimony. This comes first of all.” If you have this faith there’s no need to examine it, just directly stand testimony, directly satisfy God, put the truth into practice, and not forsake God. If in the face of a trial you forsake God, following Satan, following the flesh, haven’t you failed? That is to say, no matter what you face you must have a true belief in God, you must know that God allows trials to befall people. “God has granted that this trial befalls me. No matter what the reason, I must pray to God, I must seek to feel God’s will, I must seek to practice the truth, I must seek out how to satisfy God. This is the sense that one of the created should have, the testimony he should have.” If you can put this into practice, with this kind of faith in God, this kind of knowledge of Him, then whatever trials you face you will know how to act appropriately. You won’t be left wondering “Er, how did this happen? Is this of God’s intention? If it is not of God’s intention, then how should I deal with it? If it is of God’s intention, then what should I do about it?” Can you wonder your way to a conclusion like this? You cannot. Tell me, when Job faced his trials could he think his way through it? Could he see God’s wager with Satan? He could not think it through. He could not see. All those robbers suddenly appearing, there was no way his few servants could have protected his property. If they struggled hard with the robbers, all those people would die. Would you dare struggle with them? There was nothing else to do but let them take the possessions away, let them take whatever they wanted, so long as they left the people alone, that was the only option. Some people ask, “So would struggling against them be right? If the struggle succeeded, and they were defeated, wouldn’t the property all be saved? Then there would be no trial, right?” Tell me, would that be correct? It is not correct. You can’t defeat them. You think if they were defeated there’d be no trial, only now the critical thing is that you can’t defeat them. Say for example five or six robbers came, their faces were covered, pried open your door, put a knife to your throat, and asked you, “Got any money? Let’s see it.” What would you do then? Could you say, “To avoid a trial I shall struggle with you”? Would that work? Struggle with them, get stabbed by the knife, and down you’ll go. There’ll be no trial then, but is it really avoiding a trial if you’re dead? Struggle does not resolve the trial. If you struggle, Satan will look on and say “Ah, these believers in God take up knives, they really don’t understand God’s will, they have no testimony, they see property as above all, more important than life, they are really wealth-obsessed!” Doesn’t this seem like an insult to God? All the trials we face now are permitted by God, which is absolutely true. There’s no need to make a study of it. Just think about how to stand witness, how to achieve God’s satisfaction, and how to humiliate Satan. Then you’ll be fine. Some people are always too sensitive, keeping meticulous accounts of everything and always wondering “Is this really out of God? If this is from God I should stand witness. If it is not from God I should deal with it as an earthly matter, and just do whatever gets rid of the problem.” Tell me, is that thinking correct? It is not correct. This is a kind of transactional mindset, as if doing business with God, just looking to come out ahead of the deal. How we should experience the various trials we face should be clear to us now. … When people truly submit in their trials, this is standing testimony. When people in the midst of trials offer themselves wholly to God, and can truly praise God, without a word of complaint, this is an even better testimony. When experiencing all kinds of trials and refinements, people must have a true submission to God. Someone with a true submission to God can devote themselves, and can, with the goal of satisfying God, renounce their own benefit, not relying on themselves to create their own prospects and future. If when facing trials we can experience the work of God like this, then we can reach salvation and be perfected. In every trial faced, people can be perfected, gaining truth, with a true knowledge of God. In every trial faced, people can get a chance to be perfected, and in this way, over many experiences of trials people can be completely saved and perfected. In a trial, part of your faith is made perfect, into true faith, and part of your knowledge of God into true knowledge of Him, and some of your deficiencies are made up. In this way you will gradually gain a new life. If you have experienced many trials, your knowledge of God will be complete, and in addition, many of your weaknesses will be made up, and there will be many truths you shall enter into. Your knowledge of God will be a true knowledge, in this way you shall achieve perfection. Each trial amends a deficiency, at each trial do not lose the opportunity to be perfected. This is the way to achieve a change in your life disposition, and is also the route to perfection. If you experience all kinds of trials and refinements like this, tell me, will the hardship of experiencing those trials and refinements become greater and greater? It will not. The hardship will only become less and less. The more you submit to God the less hardship you will have, the more you rebel against God the greater the hardship. If you struggle against your trials, wanting more than ever to achieve your goals and desires, then your suffering will be great. The more you submit to God, the more you quiet yourself in God’s words, the more you will enjoy God, the more your spirit will be liberated, and the less your hardship will be. That’s how it is.
We are clear about the path to seeking the truth in our trials, and how to stand witness. First of all it is to submit absolutely to God, in this submission we will unconsciously understand God’s will. If you are always wondering and analyzing, you will not understand God’s will. You must first submit. You must first dedicate yourself to God, placing yourself in God’s hands, not scheming for yourself. In this way your heart will be at peace before God, and God will enlighten you, letting you understand the truth, letting you understand God’s will, and you will know how to experience, how to enter, your path will be clear and distinct. Having experienced a trial, your life disposition will undergo some change, your understanding of the truth will deepen and become more practical. Your knowledge of God will become deeper. Therefore, experiencing a trial, your stature will make new progress. In every trial you will make new progress, and make new gains. That is, in every trial you will get opportunities to be perfected and attain some perfection. In each trial you make gains. In each trial you make progress, so after experiencing tens of trials, hundreds of trials, won’t your stature become mature? And doesn’t a mature stature mean that you have been perfected? Having experienced hundreds of trials in which you stood witness, will there be any later trials that you can’t withstand? Will there be any tests that can overcome you? Then Satan will have no way to corrupt you again, no way to deceive you again. No matter what the test is, it won’t overcome you, then you will become a perfected person, or in the words of the Book of Revelation “the overcoming man-child.” Now we are clear about the path to salvation, we will have a clear path before us when later we encounter trials, won’t we? When facing a trial, first submit to God, don’t make a study of it, do not hesitate to submit, dedicate yourself, pray in a thorough way, and stand witness. When you submit to God’s work, when your heart is at peace before God, you will ultimately understand God’s will. From the results achieved through your trials, in your knowledge of God and the progress of stature, you will know that it is God’s love you have encountered, that these trials are extremely beneficial to you. You will discover that in each trial you have understood a truth, that you have entered deeper into the truth, and you will have a new knowledge of God. You will feel that God’s work is so good, that the experience of trials is no hardship, and that it is the opportunity to enjoy God, the opportunity to enjoy God’s love. This is a chance to join God’s feast! Tell me, is it a good thing or a bad thing to experience trials? It is a good thing. If we submit to God’s work like this, no matter what trials we face, always submitting before God, then trials to us mean perfection, mean salvation. If we cannot submit before God in our trials, and always struggle to free ourselves from hardship and trials in our own way, in the end we will get nothing, not the least bit of testimony, and we will be detested and rejected by God. Then the trial becomes a person’s chastisement. Many people in their faith in God just emphasize understanding doctrines, but do not emphasize submission to God, do not emphasize pursuing the truth. After encountering trials, they always use their own methods to extricate themselves from hardship, opening up their own path out, and as a result they are detested by God, abandoned by the Holy Spirit. In the end the Holy Spirit will never work on them, this kind of person becomes one of those eliminated by God, because they do not submit to God’s work. In the words of Jesus, not submitting to the work of God is not doing the will of the Father in heaven. People like this cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.